-Tasha McNerney BS, CVT
Hello all you committed and compassionate veterinary professionals!
I am very excited to write about a cause that is near and dear to me: animal pain prevention and awareness. I have had the privilege to work together with the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) to create and celebrate Animal Pain Awareness Month in September 2015 with veterinary professionals around the world.
The campaign is intended to raise pet owner awareness and recognition of both acute and chronic pain in animals.
The IVAPM selected September to coincide with human medicine’s Pain Awareness Month and is encouraging various organizations—clinics, veterinarians, technicians, manufacturers, associations and veterinary educators—to do what they can to raise awareness about pain and pain management as it pertains to veterinary patients.
The theme of the campaign is “Because Their Pain Is Our Pain.” Organizers hope this tagline will help pet owners understand that while we are different species, humans and animals process and feel pain similarly. In other words, if something causes pain in humans, it likely produces pain in animals as well. The IVAPM is encouraging pet owners to take an active role in recognizing the signs of pain in animals and seeking veterinary care.
Here are a few ways to incorporate animal pain awareness activities into your practice during the month of September.
1. Offer in-house CE for staff members on various pain management topics.
2. Set up a display for clients explaining common signs of osteoarthritis pain in senior pets.
3. Offer free pain consultations and tailored pain management protocols for patients at risk for chronic pain such as osteoarthritis.
4. Offer client education seminars on pain management topics such as rehabilitation and chronic pain.
5. Consider having a team member join IVAPM and become a certified veterinary pain practitioner (CVPP). To learn more, visit the IVAPM website.
6. Also, you can take to social media to increase awareness with photos including the hashtag #nopetpain.
Pain management is an important aspect of any surgical or medical procedure. Together with your team and clients, you can make your patients as comfortable as possible in the postoperative period and into their senior years. I look forward to the many ways we can work together to make our patients more comfortable.